08 Sep

Fifteenth Anniversary of 9/11

This year the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 falls on a Sunday. Many churches all across the country will be commemorating the day in various ways during their worship services. I thought long and hard about what we should do at Calvary to recognize this pivotal day...

31 Aug

Wormy Situations

In my denomination all pastors are encouraged to be part of a clergy group. There are no guidelines about the groups—who or how many can be in them, how they are structured, what the group focuses on, etc. So, there are some all-female groups, some...

25 Aug

Swept Up in Worship

Last week I wrote briefly about the six “Great Ends of the Church.” The third Great End is “the maintenance of divine worship.” I am a pastor, so worship is in many respects my “job.” But, worship is much more than a job to me....

18 Aug

Does Life Have Meaning?

Who am I? Why am I here? What gives life meaning? What is my purpose? These are the sorts of existential questions that sooner or later, we all ask. We want to know that our life has meaning, that it makes a difference that we...

11 Aug

Learning to Dance in the Rain

There is a magnet on my refrigerator that says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I’ve been thinking a lot about that message lately, because in my little corner of the universe, it’s not just...

04 Aug

Time Speeds Up

Somehow it is August. I do not know how this happened. My dad told me it would be this way: that as I got older time would begin to speed up, with months flying by like days and years flying by like months. As usual,...

28 Jul

Love Your ENEMY?

For those of us living in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, politics is inescapable. It is, quite simply, part of the air we breathe. So over the past two weeks, unless you have been marooned on a desert island (hopefully not) or been on a...

21 Jul

Vacation Perspective

I just returned from a vacation to the Canadian province of Quebec.   It was a spectacular nine days—a river cruise on the Saguenay Fjord, whale watching (we spotted Minke, humpback and fin whales!), croissants and chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) in quantities that should be illegal,...

14 Jul

The Belhar Confession

Institutions are indispensable. We cannot get along in our complex world without the order, stability and benefits supplied by our governmental, religious, educational, financial and social institutions. But as we all know, institutions are a mixed bag. They are necessary and they do much good,...

30 Jun

A Tool for Worship

My church is getting a new organ. It’s not a “new-new” organ, but it’s new to us. Another church in our area is being torn down to make way for affordable housing. That church’s congregation will move back in to the new high rise once...